A field of 23 sophomore pacers have dropped into the box for the $604,100 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown, set for Thursday (Sept. 23)
at the Delaware County Fair.
One More Laugh, who won the Cane Pace, the opening leg of the Triple Crown, leads the field in the $64,437 third elimination, but will have to start from the outside post seven. One More Laugh and driver Tim Tetrick started from the one hole in the Cane Pace, fended off a challenge from Delmarvalous in the opening quarter-mile and cruised to a 4-1/4 length victory in 1:50.3.
With the win in the Cane Pace, the son of McArdle-Fancy Creek Funny improved to 2-for-2 on half-mile racetracks for trainer Ray Schnittker. On June 12, he won the $294,965 Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway. All three Pacing Triple Crown races are on half-mile ovals. In his career, which includes 14 wins in 23 starts, One More Laugh has won on every size track: mile, seven-eighths, five-eighths and half-mile.
One More Laugh has banked $1,668,920 for owners Schnittker, Mathias Meinzinger and Jerry Silva. He is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
"You don't come out to Delaware to race from the outside post," said Schnittker. "If he races and wins his elimination, we'll go two heats, but we won't go three heats."
Another leading Jug contender is Frank Bellino's Rock N Roll Heaven, a winner of $1,523,601 in his career. Trained by Bruce Saunders the Rocknroll Hanover-Artistic Vision lad has won seven times in 2010, with his biggest triumph coming in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at Harrah's Chester. Daniel Dube will steer Rock N Roll Heaven from post two in the opening elimination. He is also the 2-1 morning line favorite.
"Of the top 10 3-year-olds, five of them are in my division," said trainer Bruce Saunders. "Kyle Major has the rail and it will be interesting to see what happens when the gate closes. He likes to control the race, but I'm not sure he can here.
"My horse is very versatile. He can race up front or come off the pace. He'll go any way Danny (Dube) wants him to go, but horses on the front end at Delaware have a big edge.
"Rock N Roll Heaven is very fresh and came out of his qualifier at Pocono in very good shape. When we get him on the track he's going to want to race."
The 2009 Jug elimination winners came out of post 10 (If I Can Dream) and the outside post 8 (Well Said).
The top three finishers in each elimination will advance to the $289,969 second heat. If an elimination winner scores in the second heat, he will be the Jug winner. Otherwise, the four heat winners will return for a $120,820 race-off.
Harness racing's last Triple Crown winner on the pace was No Pan Intended, who captured the Triple Crown with his Jug win in 2003.
Below is the field for the $604,100 Little Brown Jug, in post position order, with drivers and morning line odds.
$64,437 First Elimination
1. Kyle Major-Mark MacDonald-7-2
2. Rock N Roll Heaven-Daniel Dube-2-1
3. Fred And Ginger-Dave Palone-6-1
4. Dreamlands Art-George Brennan-12-1
5. Razzle Dazzle-John Campbell-15-1
6. Foreign Officer-Ron Pierce-10-1
7. We Will See-Brett Miller-4-1
8. Aracache Hanover-Doug McNair-8-1
$64,437 Second Elimination
1. Delmarvalous-Brian Sears-3-2
2. Classic Rock Nroll-John Campbell-7-1
3. Piece Of The Rock-Paul MacDonell-5-1
4. Docs Yankee-Dan Noble-10-1
5. Fools Gold-Tim Tetrick-20-1
6. Versado-Dave Palone-7-2
7. Just Crowned-Dan Charlino-25-1
8. Urgent Action-David Miller-15-1
$64,437 Third Elimination
1. Valentino-George Brennan-6-1
2. Four Starz Trace-Luc Ouellette-8-1
3. Im Gorgeous-Andy Miller-4-1
4. Allthatgltrsisgold-Dave Magee-10-1
5. Malicious-David Miller-12-1
6. Rockin Image-Yannick Gingras-7-2
7. One More Laugh-Tim Tetrick-2-1